Doctors need to stop pushing pap tests, especially in light of new findings. Some doctors have been getting away with the practice of withholding informed consent for a long time. Women rarely get offered a choice about whether or not to have a pap test; they are simply expected to comply. In fact, the withholding of informed consent has been standard practice for such a long time, and has been done so cleverly, that some women are not even aware that they have a right to choose.
The unethical practice of withholding informed consent has largely been ignored, partly because of the assumption that pap tests are for a woman’s own good. Coercing women into unwanted pap tests has been considered by some to be an acceptable way to practice due to the belief that screening saves lives. However,the belief that pap tests “save lives” has never been scientifically proven, no randomized control trials have been done that support this belief, and now there are new findings that highlight this.
A recent article in the British Medical Journal titled “Why cancer screening has never been shown to ‘save lives’-and what we can do about it” illuminates the lack of scientific evidence in relation to cancer screening. The authors state that cancer screening might identify site specific cancers, such as breast or prostate cancer, but that even when cancer is found early, it has not been shown to benefit overall survival.
Overall mortality is what people care about. Healthy people want to live longer, and this is usually the motivation for undergoing cancer screening. But, as the authors highlight, important pieces are missing from the bigger picture of cancer screening. For example, while there may be some gains in avoiding deaths from site specific cancers (e.g. breast or colon cancer), these gains may be offset by slight increases in treatment related deaths.
Basically, cancer screening has not been shown to reduce a person’s risk of dying. The authors also suggest that the harms of cancer screening, such as over-diagnosis and unnecessary follow up interventions such as biopsy, radiation, and chemotherapy, have largely been ignored and undocumented. In some cases, cancer screening may increase a person’s risk of dying.
Pap test coercion needs to stop. The mantra that coercion is for a “woman’s own good” doesn’t ring true, and doesn’t excuse it. Some doctors don’t tell women the facts, such as the fact that cervical cancer is rare or the fact that they stand to benefit financially from testing women. Some doctors don’t tell women about the inaccuracies of test results or the risk of over-diagnosis, unnecessary surgeries and other potential harms. Some usually don’t tell women much of anything; the propaganda has already done the talking.
Media coverage and women’s own shared experiences continue to reveal a disturbing reality where women are being exploited and harmed by unethical medical practices. When you strip away the context of so called health care and look at what is happening to many women you are left with coercion, bullying, abuse, rape, mutilation, and in some instances, physical and psychological torture. It’s time to stop pushing pap tests, time to start paying attention to the harms, time to start telling women the facts, and time to let women know they are free to make up their own minds.
Be glad if you could delete the above comment. I’m logged in under the wrong email!
I am so glad to find all you ladies are still here and very active. I’m having problems posting on the site with my mobile. Takes ages to type and then it doesn’t send anything, and I have not received any updates from this site in ages, that I thought many of you hadn’t posted for some time. I also have some old emails which never delete in my Inbox from here. As I delete them and trash them, they bounce back into my inbox again as unread emails. It is only items from this site so I think my account might have been hacked…
You reported this issue some time ago and unfortunately I don’t know what the cause from this end could be. Is anyone else experiencing what Ada describes?
Thanks Sue, I think it must be my phone. It doesn’t display this site very well, and for the past few weeks I didn’t see a single incoming addition to this site. I had an awful feeling it might be shut down, or posters weren’t contributing anymore. It made me quite sad, but so pleased I’ve found everyone again. I’ve borrowed a laptop to write this.
I am also posting via my mobile phone. Haven’t spotted any problems myself I must say.
Thanks AQ, much appreciated.
I found this blog while doing research due to my frustration with doctors who are more interested in raping me with their metal instruments than in preserving my eyesight by helping me to get affordable care for my glaucoma and so forth. I went to a “family-health” center for low-income people after I failed the physical exam to return to work and had to go onto disability. Whether I get the medicine that I need to stay alive (because as a Type-1 diabetic I am insulin-dependent for life) doesn’t seem to matter to them either, but they continue to keep scheduling pap smears without my consent and rescheduling them after I cancel.
I already told these so-called health care providers that I spend 20% of my monthly income on Medicare and have to ration what procedures I accept very carefully because my priority is my insulin and my eye drops to keep the pressure from taking away what is left of my eyesight and then the emergency glucose plungers that I need when I get hypoglycemic attacks. They proceed to schedule what they want to do and leave me on my own for obtaining the care that I actually need. If my having Medicare (the federal program for the elderly and the disabled who have preexisting conditions) disqualifies me from seeing their ophthalmologist and from using their lab for my A1C blood work and so forth like they say that it does for being insured, I do not wish to be counted as their patient and have told them so. The only thing that they haven’t tried to send me elsewhere for are pap smears and the mental health counselors that they decided that I needed to see after I told them of my frustrations with my health and my inability to access care. I really do think that with proper care I could perhaps get well enough to someday return to work like a normal person, at least part time. This means nothing to those who want to withhold desperately needed care to send me to “outside” doctors that I can’t pay and sometimes can’t even get to since I can’t drive anymore. Meanwhile they keep insisting that I need “well woman” exams. Nothing about these are going to make me well!
I apologize for the long rant, but has anyone else here just about lost their mind from fear of medical expenses and frustration with exams that are called “well woman” exams but don’t make anyone any less sick?
Well-woman exams are likely to make you sick, routine pelvic and breast exams are not recommended in many countries, they’re of poor clinical value and lead to excess biopsies, even unnecessary surgery. The routine pelvic exam may partly explain why US women have high rates for hysterectomies and oophorectomies (according to Dr. Carolyn Westhoff, US ob-gyn) US rates are more than twice the rates found here or in the UK, NZ, The Netherlands etc. all countries that don’t recommend routine pelvic exams. I know this exam is also, promoted in Canada, so would be interesting to see their rates?
I’m sorry you’re having trouble accessing decent healthcare, so many doctors are only interested in their agenda and for many, that certainly includes pap testing.
The cost of healthcare is a major concern – my younger brother has Parkinson’s Disease, he had a hefty excess after having deep brain stimulation in May this year, he’s having more surgery this month, and again, they’ll be an excess. Thankfully, he’s much loved by his siblings so the hat was passed around the family, he was always so independent, but now accepts he needs help.
I do wonder about those without the same support, both financial and emotional, it must be very difficult indeed.
I know it’s difficult to shop around in some countries too so you’re stuck with the same Clinic. I went doctor shopping many years ago and found someone respectful of my informed decisions not to have cervical screening (I don’t have mammograms either)
I know some people order drugs online simply to bypass the pressure to accept excess and routine/elective tests/exams they don’t want, that shouldn’t be happening, we’re all entitled to respectful and decent medical care.
I hope hostessforhospitality has succeeded in having her diabetes cared for, checked, and her vascular issues addressed without having to submit to being vaginally and anally penetrated.
The frenzy to get into a woman’s vagina – by both men and women practitioners – to the detriment of actual testing and treatment for real medical conditions, which are FAR more likely to cause death or disability than CC ever could, even in the myth that CC was the leading cause of death around 1900. (No, tuberculosis was, the same as men), or even the claim that CC is very common in the third world without constant vaginal oversight. Who is doing all of these autopsies finding all of this CC when they are too short on medical practitioners to treat infants’ diarrhea (leading cause of death), water-borne illnesses, injuries, and viral, fungal, and parasitic diseases?
I had a doctor in January who pushed pap to the exclusion of my diabetes and hypothyroidism, implying that he would not refill prescriptions without a pap. He “gave in” in the end, but I never want to go through that harassment again! I’m looking at telehealth, where I can get my medications and relevant lab orders, with a doctor who cannot really push having a pap TODAY.
Hi everyone. I havent wrote on here for a little while but was wondering how you all get the pill if you dont have smears? Ive just tried ordering the pill online and its been cancelled. Im not going to my gp as i know already theyll force a smear test on me so any sites that anyone uses? Thanks x
You DO NOT NEED cervical screening for the birth control pill – It is NOT a requirement! Go to your GP and ask for the pill and if they state you have to have one then tell them a firm NO you do not and can’t be forced into a screening test that is optional/elective, as per ALL screening……….for whatever condition for man or woman. If they try this on with you then you should inform them that you WILL REPORT this behaviour to the authorities, I reckon that pill will be forthcoming quite quickly. What country are you from Samantha? If you look online at the relevant requirements for your country you will find what you need for the recommendations stating it as a choice, your choice, so may I suggest you perhaps print it and take to your apt as proof, not that we should need proof to stop anyone going near our private parts. You must know that no-one can force their way into your vagina against your will? Please tell me you know this? It requires “Informed consent” and it is your decision only, no-one else’s, just yours. Be brave and stay safe – Best regards ChasUK
Hi Samantha, I don’t know what the others are doing, but the Australian medical system left me no other option than go without the pill. In Australia absolutely everything is locked behind GPs. We can’t do any tests, get any diagnostic results or reports, see any specialists or buy anything more serious than panadol without being forced to see a GP and give off a tonne of personal information that will be passed into government health surveillance databases, recall registers, or eHealth.
To get the pill, I would be forced to see a GP every 6 months or so, disclose the most private aspects of my life to a stranger who would pressure me into Pap smears and lie to me about harms of this screening program. So, we chose condoms and to be extra careful during most “dangerous” days of each month. Condoms have about 4% failure rate vs 1-2% of that of the pill, but I can’t go through the ordeal, pressure and humiliation of doctor appointments. So much for “health care” – it forces us to risk.
I still remember the GP nearly having steam coming out of his ears. I declined a Pap smear, and he said that I will have a smear ot I won’t get the pill. What followed was one of the best “fuckyou” moments of my life. I never saw another doctor again. That was 15 years ago.
My only wish is to get another 50 years of not seeing one. The further from them, the better for health.
Samantha, Where are you? I am in New Jersey in the US – I use PRJKT Ruby for the pill. You just answer a few health questions online, a dr. will call you to confirm and the script is mailed to you for $20/month. But I know some states will not allow the pill to cross state lines. Fortunately, I am not one of them but their website should let you know which states are a go.
Samantha my daughter in wales got 6 months pill from super drug online. She said smears weren’t mentioned. Having said that she is only 20 and smears start at 25 here
Sexual assault is a form of sexual violence, and it includes rape, groping, child sexual abuse, or the torture of the person in a sexual manner. Isn’t a pelvic exam sexual assault? Especially without consent. A speculum is a medical tool for investigating body orifices. If a rapist used a tool to lok inside is victim its sexual violence.
How can Dr, who take an oath to protect life, commit such abuse and say it benefits women?
Th nazi’s performed abortions and other experiments on women!
Check this our
Of course, these concerns were only for “proper ladies,” and didn’t extend to the wayward women of the streets; after all, only prostitutes got pelvic exams. In 19th-century Paris, sex workers who had been arrested were forced to undergo examinations by doctors, and the speculum was essentially used as a threat or a torture device. If these women refused to be examined, they could be imprisoned. Either way, they were punished, and their fates were grim.
ims’ invention and his subsequent ability to heal fistulas were major leaps forward for medicine. However, these advances came at a horrific price, as his research methods can only be described as monstrous. Sims would buy or borrow injured slave women (whose masters were happy to help, since they wanted fertile slaves), bring them to his backyard hospital, and use them as test subjects for his surgeries.
All of this the medical profession turn into an abusive money making industry!
I have a new “primary care” doctor whom I have seen only once. No one on staff asked me why I was there, which is normal because when the ambulances pull into the hospital the first thing all of the doctors want to know is what kind of insurance the patient has. Then if the patient does not have insurance or does not have the right kind of insurance, meaning the lucrative kind, no one wants that patient. As is normal, I was,asked the date of my last pap smear by an assistant before I met the doctor. The assistant persisted in wanting to know the date of my last pap after I told her that I don’t do them anymore.
The doctor was then also more interested in scheduling paps and mammograms than in the fact that I had lost consciousness again on Christmas Day, which had been three days earlier, from another episode of hypoglycemia. It happened again on my way home from the doctor’s appointment, severely enough that strangers stopped as they were driving by and wanted to help me because I was down next to the sidewalk and couldn’t get up. I doubt that it is even worth telling her about that or the fact that the paramedics were here again last week due to my body making no insulin. She know that I am an insulin-dependent diabetic and that I have glaucoma and need a referral in order to save what remains of my eyesight. I don’t expect for this to change her priorities. Time and experience have taught me not to expect doctors to care about completely unrelated conditions if they are general practitioners. I don’t expect for her to be any different, even though she was talking about my high risk for going into a coma.
Tomorrow I am going to my second appointment with her, and I am ready for the pap smear pestering if her office is not as full as it was last month. Wish me luck in refusing y’all. I have decided that I will tell her immediately that I shall not be submitting to a pap smear and ask whether this will conclude my being her patient before she starts wasting my time with thathat paps crap so that my diabetes is pushed aside again.
If she refuses to prescribe the insulin which I need to live, which could happen because I had a primary care clinic refuse to accept me as a patient at all upon learning that I was on insulin by claiming that they “couldn’t follow” anyone on insulin, even after I explained that the very kind endocrinologist who had referred me to the clinic was treating my diabetes for free because she had been my doctor in the critical care unit. I had another doctor ignore the vascular disease caused by too many hours of prolonged standing as a professional cook while she insisted that she should do a “full physical”, whichshe defined as a pap smear because she said it in the same breath before losing all further interest in examining me for anything once I told her that I would not submit to a pap smear. I was near amputation from vascular ulcers before I found treatment without needing a referral.
I may die from diabetes very soon since I switched to a “Medicare Advantage” plan since original Medicare was taking 20 percent of my monthly income before the deductible, co-insurance payment, etc. This new HMO means that I have to see my “primary care provider” in order to get any health care. I am prepared to accept this earlier death if it means that I can stop these metallic rapes at the whim of doctors or nurse-practitioners. Wish me luck y’all. I am certain that I am going to need it given my history with general practitioners.
i hope all goes well sorry to hear about your lack of care. its terrible that pap tst an stuff re important than care. prayers to you
Made me so sad and angry reading your experience with health professionals. 2 late miscarriages a few years after having more than likely over treatment i.e. loop diathermy (3 babies before this, never an issue) and when rushed to hospital, the first thing the doctor said to me, what was the date of last smear, I couldn’t speak, just stared into space, tears rolling down my face, I think he got the message in a way I hope he never would forget and not treat people like that. At the end of the day, through insurance, or taxes/Ni you are paying for “there” service so surely like a customer you should be able to ask for what YOU want. I wonder in time or maybe somewhere out there now, a health care service where you actually pay as you go and you get and ask for what it is you want, the customer choosing as it should be. We live in an ever growing society in the UK where living your life in fear of “what if’s” is acceptable every day and checking for “what” could kill you every day is the norm, if you don’t spot something early “oooh the shame” makes me mad. Stay strong and positive, hope you get the treatment you require without too much hassle.
I really appreciate this blog. Today was a very rough and emotionally difficult day because of my annual physical…which I haven’t had done in roughly 10 years. I haven’t been able to talk about it with anyone because it’s embarrassing and I don’t want to be judged or looked down upon, or worse, told to “get over it” (meaning my anxiety about gyno visits). I feel that family care doctors are worse about pushing the exam than gynecologists (I see the latter for breast pain). The gyno asked about the exam and when I told her my fears due to trauma from my past, she was gentle and patient and very understanding and did not push the exam. I actually felt comfortable with her and for the first time in my adult life, was not badgered by a doctor about a pap smear…and from a gynecologist! I was surprised.
My PCP asked today about it, and I told her I was scared, and she just kept asking “Why? Why are you scared?” I didn’t want to talk about my past, because it’s painful to talk about and often leaves me upset for days being reminded of it, but she wouldn’t let up so I told her. She was not gentle or kind like my gynecologist and callously asked me to go into more detail about my abuse. I couldn’t help it, the blunt way she asked (warning: possible trigger language!) if the man used his penis or put objects inside my vagina (end trigger warning) made me burst into tears. I *hate* crying, especially in front of people I barely know. I was angry, upset, traumatized, and I wanted to go home immediately. I couldn’t stop crying. But the attack of questions didn’t stop…I left my appointment drained, numb, upset, and I called my husband at work, crying, and begged him to come home. I never bother him at work because he is a soldier and very busy, but that’s how much I was pushed today. I went home and while I waited to see if he would be allowed to come home, I curled into a ball on my bed and cried. I still don’t feel emotionally better and I haven’t been able to smile today. I want to crawl back into bed and stay there until I feel better. I’m normally a very happy and positive person but I don’t feel like myself.
I’m sorry for the novel, and I understand if no one reads it, but still…thank you for letting me get it out somewhere. It was eating me up inside. I knew I could get some comfort from this blog by reading some of the entries. Despite what I was told today, I don’t seriously think I will wake up surrounded by blood because I have cervical cancer. My risks are extremely low any way. I have only had one sexual partner (my husband) and so has my husband. I also had the cervical cancer shot, just in case.
thanks for sharing. can so relate to your Dr fear and anxiety. i have also been told don’t be afraid, its no big deal, etc. I finally gave up on pap test attempts. Never found out what my issue is. Maybe i’m just small and its tough for me.
i’m glad you stood up against a pap test.
prayers to you
Thank you very much, Diane. And I appreciate the prayers…goodness knows I need them because I am a crazy mess. It’s funny to think that just a little over a week ago I was fine and happy and it all changed in a day.
My pcp wanted me to come in for a follow-up today to go over my blood test results. She also prescribed me an anti-anxiety med to take before today’s appointment and told me to bring my husband because she really, really wants me to have that pap (I guess crying and shaking wasn’t enough of a hint that it’s just not gonna happen any time soon). I didn’t pick up the medicine because I knew I was too scared to go through with it and I didn’t want to waste medication that could help someone else. I was an anxious mess all week, barely eating, trouble sleeping…I cried a couple of times as it got closer to today. Thought about exit strategies (like running away) if the pap test pressure got too much. I wasn’t even going to go back, but I really do care about my health and was very curious about my blood test results (thankfully, I got a clean bill of health! She said everything was perfect and she was surprised she didn’t have to scold me for anything). I got myself through it by telling myself it was the last time I ever go back to the doctor, just gotta get my results and go and never look back (I know that’s not good, but I can’t emotionally take any more pressure to get a pap smear). Though I was a little surprised that she said she didn’t have to scold me about my health habits or anything, because she seemed pretty upset that I wouldn’t undergo the test.
Then she looks at my file…and says, “I’m not seeing any pap test results…this is so weird…when was your last pap?” That’s why she was so happy, it was only a week ago, but she had already forgotten! I seriously thought about lying and saying it was a year ago or something, but I’m not a good liar. I just kind of sputtered out some random words and then she got a look of surprise and said, “That’s right! I knew there was something different about you, I just couldn’t remember…you’re my girl who’s afraid of pap smears!” Then I got scolded over that, not as bad as last week though. She told me I have to have it done if my husband gets orders to Germany or Hawaii or anywhere overseas, because you have to have a health check from your doctor to be able to be stationed over seas (just in case you have a medical condition, they have to make sure the clinic can take care of you). That made my heart fall. We were stationed in Germany a few years ago and loved it and my husband is dying to go back. I don’t know what I’m going to do or tell him. What if we get orders to Germany, something we both really, really want, but I’m still too afraid to get a pap smear? Do I stay behind while my husband goes? Do I suck it up and traumatize myself, possibly irreversibly, so I can go with him? I’ve been thinking about it all day. Now I kind of hope he doesn’t get orders to Germany so I don’t have to make that impossible decision. I hope one day I feel ready to have a pap smear, but I definitely don’t want to be forced to make a decision like that before I’m ready.
I forgot to add to my earlier post…but I’m a little freaked out and wondering how good doctors make on their “threats”. I was also told that in March (I told her I didn’t bring my husband along today because he’s in training for 30 days, which is completely true! He won’t be back until early March) I was going to be put on a daily call log…she said I really, really, REALLY have to get that test and she’s going to make it her mission to get me to come back in for it. She’s going to call me Every. Single. Day. …until I agree to come in for it. Holy crap on a crapola sandwich. She said I’m going to be right there with all the diabetes patients who won’t come in for their screening and other women who are behind on the pap screening, but she’s going to make sure I get called every single day.
…I may have to change my phone number. Maybe even move because she scares me and she knows my address. I don’t know how far she’ll go.
Dachsodis, what your doctor is threatening to do is called harassment. If she does call you after you firmly said no, you should get a restraining order against her.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for not wanting this test as it can’t help you in any way, but it can definitely cause you some serious problems such as inability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to full-term. If your doctor completely ignores all the risks of this test, she is not looking out for you, she just wants to make money and in your particular case I think it’s a power-play on her part — she just wants to dominate you for some reason — it’s clear from how she said she was surprised she didn’t have to scold you about anything. It’s like she sees herself as an adult and you as a wayward child. She doesn’t respect you as an adult who can make her own decisions about her health. If I were you I would fire this doctor immediately and get a new one, and if she continues to harass you, I’d get a restraining order. You don’t need to put up with anyone treating you like this.
Dachsodis please remember this doctor is truing to scare you. They can’t post your hubby anyplace and refuse to let you go bcoz you refuse a smear. They are trying to scare you into testing. This is what they do. Please consider changing doctors. This one isn’t helping you. X
.Dachsodis please remember this doctor is trying to scare you. They can’t make you stay behind if your husband gets posted overseas! For refusing a smear test. They’re trying to force you into testing. Please change your doctor. This one sounds a nightmare and should be struck off. If she does persist in calling every day I’d either involve my solicitor or get number blocking apps and programmes. You don’t have to have any test you don’t want. Please re read some of the posts here about the rarity of this cancer. Jinking of u. Kat.
Sorry my tablets messing this doctor is not following her oath do no harm. Please please realise she’s trying to scare you. If you’ve been overseas b4 did you have to get a smear then?? Anyplace you go will I’m sure have places any illness at all can be helped. Please report this
Sorry to hear of your traumatic experiences Dachsodis and I very much understand your distress.
This doctor has crossed the line into harassment, which is against the law. Do you have someone who is able to advocate for you or are you in a position to be able to take legal advice?
This doctor is a bully and is using her position and power to coerce you into a procedure you do not want.
You have said no repeatedly, but she still persists to the point of threatening you with a daily phone call until you agree. This is appalling.
My opinions of health care professionals like this are unprintable.
Dachsodis……….Please remember, YOUR BODY YOUR RULES YOUR DECISION
Cervical Smear testing is an OPTIONAL/ELECTIVE screening test for abnormal cells, not cancer! 0.65% risk of cc = 99.35% NO risk of cc. No-one has any right to force their way into your private sensitive areas, please never forget that ever!! Do not let them scare you with the pap crap! Best wishes to you.
Thank you all very much for your kind comments! I did plan on changing my doctor after this, she was nice enough when she wasn’t pressuring me into a pap but that alone isn’t enough to make me want to keep her. I am going to request a change when I have to see the doctor again, but I pray that day never comes, because unless I feel like I am dying, I seriously never want to go back for ANY preventative help because of the way I was treated. But she couldn’t even remember me after a week (and I was really scared and anxious from the second I stepped out of my car, even the nurse could tell I was anxious about something but she didn’t pressure me) so I doubt she will even remember to put me on the call list (at least, I hope she forgets). If she does, I definitely plan on blocking the number. My gynecologist even told me that my risk is so low and my anxiety so high about such a procedure that she doesn’t see me needing a pap smear right now…and she is an expert on these things, even more knowledgeable than a family practice doctor! So I am going to go with the advice of someone who is kind and gentle to me, someone who knows the most about women’s health, and someone who remembers me even though it was 6 months between my first and second appointment with her.
“In 2012, the task force recommended against routinely checking the levels of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, in the blood, saying that the risks outweighed the rewards. But the latest draft loosens the reins for men 55 to 69 with no symptoms or history of prostate cancer: The former D rating, which discourages screening, has been upgraded to a C, which leaves the decision up to “a man’s values and preferences,” the task force said in a statement.”
Men can make decisions about screening based on their values and preferences, but women? Nope. Spread ’em, ladies!
Interestingthere was a lot of criticism about the PSA unreliable test. Of course the smear test is amazingly accurate and mammograms pretty bloody perfect lol….as you said spread em and crush em ladies…
Looking for some reassurance or perhaps some advice. I got a very odd phone call from my primary care/GP doctor’s office this afternoon and it has me a bit upset. His office manager/scheduler called and said they needed to know when my last pap smear was and did I go to an OBGYN doctor for that. I said I couldn’t remember off the top of my head and the office manager said to give it my best guess, so I totally lied and made up something.
After I hung up the phone, I felt startled and, frankly, very upset. I’ve never received a call like that before from my primary/GP Dr asking for that information. It was completely out of the blue and made no sense whatsoever. I called the office manager back and questioned her further and she said something about having to fill out paperwork from my insurance company (Blue Cross) and needing that information.
I then called my insurance company and the representative said they had no knowledge or record of requesting that information from my primary/GP Dr. She said they would not normally request that information. She too thought it was odd and advised me to be careful about sharing that sort of information.
I then called my primary Dr’s office manager back again and explained I was still confused and that the insurance company had no knowledge or record of requesting that information. The office manager said she was just doing as the Dr told her to do and when I questioned her further, she said that if I had responded that I did not go to an OBGYN, the Dr wanted her to schedule an appointment for me to come in and have the pap test done there. I was dumbfounded. I told her that I felt that was a very personal issue and personal choice and that I no longer wanted to be contacted about that matter by my primary Dr. and to please make a note of that on my file.
What do you all think? Why would my primary/GP’s office call out of the blue and request that little tidbit of info – and only that – when they’ve never done so before? Does it sound to you all like they are trying to drum up more business? It just made me very upset and angry that they called in the first place, that they requested such personal information and that they were so vague in why they wanted it.
Hi Su. They are probably trying to make money out of you. By ringing you they have overstepped the line. You have caught them lying to you. Just ignore them, a forced pap smear if you dont want one is actually rape. They cant do one unless you submit to it.
My suggestion to you is you read the articles and comments on this site and grow strong and confident. Doctors just hate it when they are confronted by an informed woman.
Hope you are ok.
You must feel haunted by the feeling of being tricked into giving personal information. Please don’t be. In today’s world, we know it’s important to be careful about that and evidently you’re no idiot. However, it’s when we trust – whom we believe we can trust – and then find out we were lied to is what makes us feel stupid. It makes you rethink trusting. Yet, you have good instincts. In a split-decision your instincts were wise not to give exact information. I guess in a second more you wouldn’t have lied but instead asked why and declined to give any information, but you did what you thought was best. That can be forgiven. At least they didn’t get any information out of you. Shake it off as Linda said. You came away the victor, actually.If you are going to make an appointment for – anything else – with your GP, and he asks yet again – take the opportunity to question face to face; ask why interested in screening; tell him you’re aware of things now – cervical cancer is rare in developed countries according to the statistics from the The World Health Order. There’s no more than about 635,000-675,000 or so cases worldwide; 2 thirds are in under-developed countries and about 73,000 to 75,000 may be in the U.S. – that is per 150 million women or so. Reiterate that you do not want to screen. Or, better yet – tell your GP that you know about self-testing kits and despite the so-called inaccuracy, that you’d rather do that. Hopefully they got the message the first time you said not to ask again. It’s possible that they are trying to follow some program that they were influenced to participate in for incentive payments, but there’s no need for them to trick their patients – unless that’s the intention. If you feel uncomfortable still, and find they are not taking your wishes to heart, asking again, then it appears you sense a negative change in your GP. If you can, then, you may want begin to find a new GP.
My GP did ask me about screening – a few times in the office; about as casually as asking about what I like to eat. It didn’t put me off, but boy did I sense something. . I’ve no reason to fear his intentions as he’s been honest with me otherwise and has good manner with me. I was game, so I answered, but, I was firm in that I didn’t want to screen. If he ever asks me again, I’ll just have to “educate” him about what I know.
Don’t worry, Susanne. Be Blessed!
“These findings should be considered in cost-effectiveness models informing vaccine choice and models to shape the future of cervical screening programmes.”
Went in to the doctor’s for a yearly physical and every year I have said I have never been sexually active and they said I didn’t need it yet. This year was my last with my current good insurance so I was more open to tests, but still said I was never sexually active. Both nurse and doctor acted like that didn’t matter much and that I should still do it, that it was expected not an option. I did it and REGRET, it was so painful and the doctor didn’t stop as it was happening when I told her to. Thought it wouldn’t affect me much, but it bothers me quite a lot. I feel so dumb for just being not awake enough at the time and just going along with what these people (nurse and doctor) wanted and acted like was nothing. Just for money, and I have never used a tampon or anything else. Feel violated. My own going along with it makes me as mad as how screwed up the system is. The nurse and doctor should have said “it is an option” not just CASUALLY EXPECTING ME TO GO ALONG AND SAYING WHATEVER TO NOT CAUSE ME HESITATION.. but it is also my own fault for being so trusting and open and willing and allowing. I didn’t know what it really entailed. Now I know more than I wish I had to. Doctors and nurses should never just shove dumb test on people. It has always felt kind of shoved at me and during previous doctor’s visits I felt lucky to avoid it.
Hi Angry Anon
If you’ve never been sexually active, then a Pap test is a pointless exercise, in fact, it can harm you, false positives are fairly common, that can mean an unnecessary colposcopy, biopsy or over-treatment. I know some doctors just assume all women have had some sexual activity, hpv can be contracted by sexual activity that does not include penetration.
What the medical profession doesn’t understand is that testing is OUR call, we should be given the evidence, we know what we have and haven’t done…it’s our decision. Doctors should not be making assumptions about us or testing “just in case”…also, i’ve heard some doctors say things like, “some women lie about sexual activity to get out of Pap testing”…these doctors need a refresher, it’s a highly disrespectful and inappropriate response, no one needs to “get out of” cancer screening, a simple NO is enough. (Or should be)
Sorry to hear of your distressing experiences, my advice is to do your reading…knowledge will empower you to stand firm in the consult room.
I think that women are pressured by health physicians and social media who have not been able to confront a patient by listening and meeting their own needs. A female should be able to vocalize openly to her doctor like,the fact that she is sexually active but without having someone tell her the famous proposition of getting a pap smear testing. For one thing this dosen’t empower a woman and may make her feel like she has lost trust with her doctor who is supposed to be her support system. Sexual health is important however those kind of people especially those of status should be able to be more sensitive and know the legal boundaries of an individual. What will it take for health care providers to stop implementing that women should be inspired to have a smear test ?
All of this is about hating the fact that women are the gatekeepers to sex. Before Dr. Papanicolau made his sick test, women decided who, what, when, and where entered their vaginas. Unless they were sex workers, usually only their husbands were allowed.
Men could not stand seeing a woman and having a crush, but NOT being able to enter her or touch her breasts. Dr. Pap changed that by making an exam that allows men to do everything they ever dreamed of doing to a woman – stopping short of inserting the penis – to avoid lawsuit.
The whole exam is a sexual interlude: he looks at the breasts, touches them, asks her to make her breasts bounce (how is this medical???), and then he touches and sees all of her vagina, forces it open with a crowbar, thrusts his fingers in, and then forcibly thrusts them into her buttocks! The only sex act that doesn’t occur in that room is entry of the penis.
Furthermore, no cancer has ever been detected by watching a woman’s breasts bounce, fingering her, or ogling her bare vagina and buttocks.
I still can’t figure out how this is okay. Someone needs to start a #metoo for pap rape!
Well said. It is vulgar, absolutely vulgar. Although I haven’t ever had any of these tests myself, it infuriates me that it goes on. I actually get tears in my eyes at the thought of women undergoing all of this.
It is bizarre but not surprising the all powerful boys club focused on the bits that interested them, just strange it’s gone on for so long and even today there are countries like Germany where women endure these annual exams from teens on…and still think it’s essential for their health.
We know the reverse is true, these unnecessary exams are harmful. Pap testing should have been tested by RCT, I doubt the screening programs would exist if the test had been properly assessed, but it was rushed in because it suited a lot of people and groups…a dark day for women’s health and quality of life.
I accidentally hit the thumbs down, intended to hit the thumbs up…sorry
I wouldn’t be surprised if they decided that the best way to prevent HPV is to expose the woman to it so that she could fight the infection. In order to expose her to HPV, they would then only allow male doctor having HPV of the male organs to examine her and he would then have sex at the end of the exam in order to give her HPV to raise her immune response. Of course, they wouldn’t call it sex, they would call it MHE (mandatory HPV exposure).
I know that it sounds crazy, but that’s where we are headed.
What I find interesting is the difference between the explanations of human rights and treatments when comparing TB treatment with CC treatment. This is even though TB is airborne, contagious, deadly, and (can) be a major health problem in a population.
See http://www.treatmentactiongroup.org/sites/default/files/tag_drtb_know_your_rights_full.pdf Pay special attention to the last page, when they talk about human rights. They stress that you have a right to healthcare, you have a right to refuse all or any health interventions. With TB, there may be consequences – like isolation at least until you are not contagious – and you have rights as to where or under what conditions that isolation will take place. Why is it so much more coercive when it comes to CC screenings or treatment? One cannot catch CC from someone in the community via it being airborne or casual contact!
Oh yeah, I know. Men also get TB, and are treated the same ways women are. Of course men could consent or refuse! Women have to be so empowered that we have no choice on who, whether, or how we are penetrated.
We are always told that “100 years ago” CC was the BIGGEST KILLER of women. Do you know what the leading cause of death was in 1900? TB. Maybe the medical community has these two diseases mixed up?
With all of this pap-pushing, they seem to loose sight of the fact that cardiac conditions – heart attacks – are the cause of death for more than 50% of women. They seldom refer a woman for anything like a cardiac stress test – and in fact have discharged women from the emergency department during a heart attack.
Cost is frequently used as the excuse. So, what is this enormous cost of cardiac testing that makes it prohibitive? I just got an explanation-of-benefits from the insurance company who manages the US Veterans Administration’s “community care” program. He had one early this year. The billed cost – $50! Due to how it’s paid and contracts, they got $17 for this test. It was also read and looked at for problems.
Meanwhile, the actual cost of a pap test is $12 for the test, plus the cost of the visit and appointment to collect it, plus the lab fees. We’ve seen “The Thousand Dollar Pap Smear” (For anyone who hasn’t, https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmp1307295 )
SO…. if you want to save lives, catch disease early, catch common diseases, it would seem that cardiac stress testing would be far better. So, what’s the difference again in how these tests are performed…. Oh yeah.
Fortunately, it was a false alarm – an artifact of a viral disease many years ago and how it appeared on a routine EKG.